Destinations Magazine

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race

By Thelostboylloyd @lloydthelostboy
Come September 23-25, race fans from all over the world will venture into Singapore, one of the beautiful countries of the East, for the 2011 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix—the only night race of the F1. But I believe the excitement is not only coming from race fans, as it is so easy to catch the contagious F1 fever that can get you revved up for the action that is about to happen both inside and outside the Marina Bay Circuit. Yes, the F1 fever has hit me, and I can already feel the speed of Grand Prix Season Singapore! Read more…
The Race
It all started in May 2007 when Singapore GP Pte Ltd was founded and then acquired Formula 1 rights for 5+2 years starting the 2008 season. August 2007 marked the groundbreaking of the Pit Building of the Marina Bay Circuit, while in December, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) finally approved the concept of the first ever night race in F1 history.
September 2008, the month of the first Singapore Grand  Prix, FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting declared the 5.079 track to be compliant of the requirements of the FIA and can henceforth be utilized for international races. The same month, Fernando Alonso (below in his 2010 win) in his Renault won the inaugural title.
After only its first season, the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix had already clinched several awards: Motor Sport Facility of the Year, Autosport Pioneering and Innovation Award, Promoter of the Year Award, and Breakthrough Contribution to Tourism.
The succeeding two seasons were made even more exciting as the track was continually modified before and after seasons. In the 2009 season, Lewis Hamilton of McLaren won the championship, while in 2010, Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari scooped the title the second time.
This year, the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix or the “jewel of the Formula One crown” will be unpredictable as ever as five former champions will be pitted against returning drivers and a new breed of drivers amidst numerous technical rule changes. Further, there will be 10 hours of track action that will also feature accessory races, the Porsche Carrera Cup and the JK Racing Asia Series; three race days from September 23 to 25; and a high-octane 61-lap race with speeds of up to 300 kph.
The Circuit
The Marina Bay Street Circuit is so impressive! The entire circuit park is expansive at 686,690 square meters and is equipped with a 350 meter pit building, 2,600 concrete barriers, 1,695 Techpro barriers that took 21 days to install, 2,640 tires for all race cars, 469 fire extinguishers, and 10,000 meters of debris fencing. As it is a night race, it is geared with an incredible 1,500 lighting projectors to illuminate the entire circuit as if it were day.
CNNGo commended the grand prix as the “Best Global Showcase of Singapore.” It is a well-deserved feat, as the circuit was constructed right in the heart of Singapore, and it showcases the most iconic landmarks—from the colonial to the modern, including:

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race City Hall and Old Supreme Court 
The Old Supreme Court is one of the fine buildings in Singapore, dating back to 1939. Beside it is the City Hall (left) that was built in 1929. The City hall played host to important historical events like the Japanese surrender in 1945 after World War II and the unilateral declaration of independence of Singapore from Britain by Lee Kuan Yew in 1963.

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race
The Padang

The Padang, which is ‘playing field’ in Malay, is skirted by the race circuit. It used to be the center of sporting events and social gatherings back in Singapore’s colonial times. Nowadays, it is still used as a recreational space, and it will host the grand prix concerts that will have an expected audience of 30,000 spectators.

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race
Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall

The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall has a 150-year history. This Victorian-era structure features a distinctive Palladian clock tower, Italianate windows, and rusticated columns and was originally built as the town hall of the young colony. Once also utilized as a hospital and war crime trials court, this landmark has definitely seen a rich past.

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race
The Merlion

The Merlion is Singapore’s national icon. Built in 1972 at 8.6 meters tall, it has been relocated three times. The lion’s head represents Singapore as the ‘lion city,’ and the tail of the fish commemorates Singapore’s humble beginnings as a seafaring village. 

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race
Esplanade Theatres on the Bay

The Esplanade is often compared to the tropical fruit durian for its thorns, but it is actually a venue for concerts, recitals, and other performances. Its acoustics are state-of-the-art, and it is one of the five halls in the entire world that features such acoustics.

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race
Helix Bridge

The steel-and-glass Helix Bridge was opened just last year and features a unique double helix design, which is a first in bridge designs. Offering pedestrian access between the circuit and Marina Bay Sands, it also gives spectators stunning views of the city's skyline.

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race
Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is currently the world’s largest observation wheel that gives visitors spectacular views of the city-state. Its car parks will host support races, such as the Porsche Carrera Cup and the JK Racing Asia Series. What's more is that Zone 1 and 2 ticketholders will have complimentary access to the Flyer.

Here is a map of the Marina Bay Street Circuit (or download the full PDF version here):

To complement what I’ve written above, here is a preview video of the circuit:
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The Teams

Team Drivers Points

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa


Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher

Vitaly Petrov and Brunno Senna

Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez

Adrian Sutil and Paul de Resta

Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari

Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado

Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen

Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo

Jerome d’Ambrosio and Timo Glock

The SingTel Singapore Grand Prix: Formula 1’s Only Night Race
With his fresh Italian Grand Prix win last weekend, Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing has won an impressive eight out of the 13 grand prix that have already been completed.  His competitors, in effect, are just battling it out for the second place spot, since it's quite clear that Vettel will take this year's championship. Vettel’s Red Bull Racing Team is also leading at 451 points, followed by McLaren at 325 points.

These 12 teams will journey from Italy to Singapore to battle it out for the coveted “jewel of the Formula One crown,” the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix. It makes me wonder if Vettel (left) will continue his streak or if Fernando Alonso of Ferrari (right) prove that he is the master of the Marina Bay Street Circuit after winning two out of the three past SingTel Singapore Grand Prix. Well, we will all find out as the heart-pounding action unfolds on September 23.

I am so excited to experience Formula 1 races in person via Singapore Airlines, because this season will definitely be as exciting as ever! Together with an expected 244,050 spectators over three days, I am ready for the speed and sound of the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix!
Here are the highlights of the 2010 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix:


To purchase your FORMULA ONE tickets, go to For Grand Prix Season Singapore packages, refer to


For more information about the Grand Prix Season Singapore, check out Know more about Grand Prix Season Singapore 2011 on Facebook through the badge above or this link.

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